Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas presents made and received.....

I have mentioned in the fall that I was not able to show you some of the things I was working on. Now that some of my family have received their gifts, I can show you a few items.

I made these Paddington Bear stockings for my nieces to kids ~ Haali and Mitchell. I filled them with small gifts this year for their Christmas gifts.

In May of last year, I made a WIP (work in progress) roll for my friend Diane. My niece saw it on the blog and said she wanted one. So I finished a second one just like it as she told me that was what she wanted and it was her Christmas present.
This is the roll closed and tied.

I used a pretty sampler fabric from Moda for the inside of the roll.

And the outside is a mix of autumn colors from my fabric stash.

I stitched up a bright green letter H for Haali this year and attached it to the outside of a little wooden box that Jos painted in red.

Haali loves bright colors and I lined the inside of the box with this fun Hoffman fabric.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Nothing like stitching friends!

That has been an often stated sentiment lately with a number of my online stitching friends lately. This is such a true statement and I have found that meeting others online who share my passions for needlework or decorating has enriched my life. I am not going to combine the two blogs so I will continue to share my needlework with you all here and look forward to many wonderful things to create in 2008! Thank you all once again for all the comments left this past year.

In my last entry, I shared the quilt that I made for my friend Diane. She and I met through a Yahoo stitching list and we connected instantly having lots in common. We started emailing privately as well as on the stitching list. I love keeping up with her life over in Michigan.

She made me this adorable pillow this year for a Christmas gift. I just love it and it matches my patchwork quilt on our bed so perfectly. I will use it as a part of a spring display downstairs but I love the thought of seeing it each day on my bed and thinking of a good friend.

This close~up can be enlarged by clicking on it to read the sweet verse about friendship.

She also sent me the cutest acorn salt and pepper shakers. One thing that Diane and I share is a great love of the autumn and all the things that go with it ~ sights, colors, smells, etc.. We both love acorns. I don't think I can wait until next autumn to use these.

Thank you so much Diane and thank so being such a great friend!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A special Christmassy birthday present...

When your birthday falls in December, it is easy to give presents that have a Christmas theme and this is what I made for a very special friend. I found out she received it in time for her birthday which made me so happy after working diligently on it in December and now I can share the photos with you...

This little tabletop quilt is in colors Diane loves. I hand quilted the words Merry Christmas and Vrolijk Kerstfeest (Dutch) in the border but it does not show in the photos unfortunately. It connects us being in the two countries.

To see the quilting well, you have to look at the back of a quilt and I also always include a hand written label done in calligraphy. I hope the love I tried to stitch into this quilt will show you how much I appreciate our friendship Diane!

On another note, I have lately considered stopping this blog and combining it with my Celebrate the Seasons home and garden blog. It seems the comments are less and less and I thought I should perhaps move on. I want to personally thank Heather, Suzann, Teresa, Diane, Angela, Donna and Roberta for their comments about this blog. It came at a moment that made me realize I should keep the two blogs separate and continue with NeedleNecessitites. And thanks to my mother who has always been inspiring and encouraging to me in anything I try to do! You are a star in my life! Thank you all for your kind words!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas wishes to all...

I will be away until next Wednesday but wanted to take a moment to wish you all a very creative and merry Christmas!

Thank you all for your lovely comments and know that I appreciate every single one of them! Each comment is like a gift to me...

Quilted Christmas party

Each year, I hold our December evening for my quilt group close to Christmas. We have a fun evening of gifts, prizes, great food and lots of laughter. Click on the photos to enlarge them.

We move all our furniture back to give us extra space and the room is set for a fun evening...

Now all we need are the quilt ladies themselves...

Even Dagi, our cat, was waiting patiently for all his 'girlfriends' to arrive...

Christmas cards laid out on the table for everyone to stop by and pick up theirs before going home...

Each person exchanges a gift which this year had a theme of flowers. I got a mirrored picture frame with flower motif and silk rose petals...

It is a full house with our 12 members and myself. We have been together for a good number of years now and it is a very close knit group...

I gave them a glimpse of our 2008 theme in the newsletter. We are going to be making medallion quilts. They will become very personal as I will give them a goal starting with the center block and they must decide themselves on the exact patchwork blocks they wish to use as well as their colors and fabrics. Everyone says they are excited to start the new theme...

I was spoiled with lots of little gifts to thank me for doing the quilt group. Just knowing this wonderful group of ladies is thanks enough!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Exchanges and get~togethers...

December is flying by. Only a few more days and it is Christmas. I wish I had more handwork ideas finished. But then isn't that the age old dilemma of every stitcher/quilter?

I am able to share one of the projects I had been working on now as the ladies participating all have received their ornaments. I made these felt snowmen for an ornament exchange with 11 other ladies. This was a pattern I simply drew out on paper and then added embroidery touches for the eyes, nose, mouth and buttons. A fabric scarf tied to their necks keep these snowmen ready for the cold...

I had a get together last week with my two lacemaking friends. We had a Swedish 'princess cake' and I gave them some little Christmas gifts. Last night was my quilt group's Christmas party and I will share a few photos of that tomorrow. I guess this is why my month is going by so quickly...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Thread holder pattern

Thanks for all the comments on my last post. The thread holder can be whipped up so quickly. Karen and Ginny both asked if I have a pattern. I wanted to let you all know where the thread holder pattern can be found online. I used this tutorial: It is an easy project to do in time for the holidays too.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A rosey Christmas?

Is anyone else finding themselves really busy this week? I thought I was organized this year but now I find myself rushed again finishing many things up. Tomorrow evening is our annual Christmas party for the quilt group I host. I am looking forward to it!

In the midst of these party preparations, I was able to finish up a quilt this past weekend. I still have to make a label for it but could not wait to share it with you. I had decided to freehand quilt holly leaves ~ 4 per square ~ between the red beads I sewed at each corner. I had three squares quilted and just was not happy with it. I finally asked Jos what he thought and he too did not like it. This is such a pretty series of fabric from Fig Tree Quilts and the quilting was taking away from the fabric. I UNquilted this quilt and left it with only the beads. I am happy with it now as it is a simple and old~fashioned looking quilt with vintage lace along the border.

Each year, I have to come up with a new theme for our gift exchange at the Christmas party. After all these years, it is not always easy to come up with a new idea. This year, I borrowed an idea from a Yahoo list I am on. They did a flower gift exchange and I thought that was a cute idea. I left everyone free to choose to buy or hand make a gift.

I love giving lots of small gifts so I came up with these ideas for the handmade part of the gift. Above it a thread holder I sewed. It is a little waste basket for while you are sewing, stitching or quilting.

I decided to make the wrapping a gift also. I sewed a pajama/unmentionables bag to hold all the small gifts. This bag is reversible also.

I love seeing it stuffed with all the small gifts wrapped in tissue inside!

Monday, December 17, 2007

A pretty gift!

When I got home from Cranberry Cottage this weekend, there was an envelope waiting for me on my doormat from my friend Margaret in Spain. She sent me a lovely wrapped package with a Christmas card...

I opened it to reveal the sweetest little pen pillow! I just love it and am going to add some glass headed pins to it and display it with my pincushion collection. Of course, come springtime, I will be using it to decorate with. She included some Needlepoint, Inc. silk thread.

Thank you so much Margaret! I really do love it.

Monday, December 10, 2007

A walk with Santa in the woods...

Each year, I hold "Christmas in July" for my quilt group. We do a project that month that hopefully gets everyone in the mood to start working on things for December whether for ourselves or gifts. Back in 2000, I used an online free paperpiecing project which was a quick and easy small quilt. Once I had mine put together, I decided I wanted to do more to it and make it a bit larger.

Here are some of the quilts hanging at our Quilt Show in 2003. Mine is in the center and you can see four others hanging with it. Don't forget to click on the photos to enlarge them.

I have mine sitting on our table up at Cranberry Cottage this year. I found this cute cake stand in a shop that was going out of business and got 50% off. I thought it would look adorable with my quilt which I named "A walk in the woods with Santa". A perfect quilt for our cottage in the woods!